Summary Review of the Health Effects Associated with Copper: Health Issue Assessment

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The Health Assessment Summary Document is a brief review of the scientific knowledge on copper. The emphasis of the document is on inhalation exposure from atmospheric copper and the environmental, ecological and health effects from the species of copper expected to be present in the atmosphere. The document is the scientific supporting basis for EPA decision-making concerning regulation of copper under the Clean Air Act. Specific scientific documentation on copper under the following headings is found in the document: Physical and Chemical Properties, Analytical Methods, Fate and Transport, Environmental and Exposure Levels, Pharmacokinetics, Toxicology and Human Health Effects. Ambient air exposure to copper adds little to the copper body burden for normal individuals. Human homeostatic mechanisms act to control copper balance in the body. Deficiencies or excesses of copper intake in humans rarely result in copper toxicosis. Special groups of risk include Wilson's disease individuals, children and some populations residing near production and processing facilities.


Reisman, D., W. Peirano, J. Lewis, D. Basu, AND D. Hohrseiter. Summary Review of the Health Effects Associated with Copper: Health Issue Assessment. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., EPA/600/8-87/001 (NTIS PB87137733), 1987.